Campaign Ideas



The following are some fun ideas to supplement your campaign pledging process, not to replace it.

A Dollar an Inch Contest

Executives participate in an all-day competition to end the day with the shortest tie. Employees cut an inch off their favorite executive’s tie each time they give to the community. Give prizes for the shortest tie, the ugliest tie, etc.

Auction Hotline

Set up a special e-mail address with weekly messages announcing auction items.  Outline the items, including their face value, in a flyer. Employees e-mail their bids. Update messages daily, announcing the highest bids received to date. Each Friday announce auction results for the week and next week’s items. Ask employees to DONATE ITEMS or services for the auction.

Baby Picture Match Game   

Invite employees to try their luck matching baby and/or pet pictures to management. Award the entry with the most right answers a paid day off or some other fun incentive. Charge employees $2.00 per ballot.

Balloon Pop

Employees donate prizes for this event-a variation of a traditional raffle. Before filling a balloon with helium, put a note inside with the name of the prize. Employees pay $1 to buy a balloon and pop it to find out what prize they’ve won.


Sell bingo cards for employees to purchase. Get a local store to donate prizes for all winners.

Blue Light Special Rallies

Hold daily/weekly “Blue Light Special” rallies throughout your employee giving time. Different divisions, departments, or project areas host each “special”.  Serve pastries and juice.  Have a United Way representative speak on community services which your employees support and have an interest.  Organize prizes and games.

BOOK/Video Sale

Employees donate their old books, videos and tapes for an employee BOOK sale. Sell paperbacks for $1, hardbacks for $2, tapes and videos for up to $5.


Employees pay an entrance fee to participate in this event.  Give each participant a pledge sheet in advance to use when asking employees for their support.  Encourage fan support, fun and enthusiasm.


What are the ingredients for a successful CASINO Night?

·        A few BLACKJACK tables


·        One Bingo game


·        A bean-bag toss


·        A bushel of sandwiches and sodas

Invite employees and their families.  Local businesses can donate prizes and items for winners.

Casual Day

Sell Casual Day Badges allowing employees purchasing them to dress casually on certain days. Employees purchase badges for $5 each through payroll deduction or cash donation. The badges carry an expiration date, depending on the amount donated. Designate certain casual days as “Crazy Days” and encourage your employees to show their wild side:


·        Tuesday - Stupid Hat Day


·        Wednesday - Outrageous Socks Day


·        Thursday - Sports Team Day


Management Car Wash  

Employees donate $5 to have their car washed at noon by their manager in BUSINESS clothing. Charge extra for special services like cleaning the interior or polishing the rims. Charge for Polaroid photos of the employees and the manager washing their cars.

Children’s Drawing Contest

Give employees “official photographs” of one or two from management to take home for their children to draw. Or, children draw what “helping others,” what “hope” or another theme means to them. Contest is limited to children under 12 who are related to any employee. There is a $5.00 entry fee per child. Employees vote for the best drawing by paying $1.00 per vote. Give prizes to all participants. Display winning portraits as a part of the organization’s permanent art collection. A variation of this event: Employees submit photography, drawings, paintings, poetry or collages depicting people helping others. 

Chili Cook-Off Contest

Employees cook their favorite chili recipe and enter it into a cook-off contest.  This activity can also add “spice” to a Community Fair.  A panel of chili experts selects the official Chili Champion.  Talk to a local hotel representative about donating a weekend stay at their hotel for the winner.

Chocolate Kick-Off Rally

Excite those “sweet tooths” when kicking off your campaign!  Print gold paper candy bar wrappers with the employee-giving theme.  Put the wrappers on chocolate bars and distribute at your kick-off.

Comedy Hour

Local comedians amuse employees during the lunch hour (pro bono, of course!) Employees buy tickets to attend Comedy Hour, with all proceeds going to the community.

Community Fair 

Non-profit organizations set up information booths at your work site. Everyone loves a carnival! Try a carnival theme with free hot DOGS, soda, and popcorn.  Employees try their luck at games like ring toss and the fishpond.  Include entertainment and art displays from youth projects.  See below for many different themed carnivals!!!

Don’t leave without your passport!

Non-profit organization representatives provide employees with information to COMPLETEquestions on the Passport.  Enter all completed Passports into a grand prize drawing.  Talk to a local travel agent about donating a trip.

Craft and Bake Sale 

Employees jump into the holidays by shopping at a craft and bake sale. This popular activity gives everyone a chance to share their hobbies and special talents.

Cruise for Donors 

Organize a local cruise on a local boat for a fundraising event/dinner dance. Use a nautical/pirate theme for invitations and incentives.

Employee Cookbook 

Collect and group recipes and helpful household hints into a customized cookbook. Employees’ children create illustrations for the cookbook, including the cover. Print and bind BOOKS BY a local business, pro bono. This event has been so popular that some organizations have not been able to fill all requests. Plan for an enthusiastic response!

Employee Guessing Events

Employees guess:


·        The company’s grand total given to the community.


·        The per capita gift of the company.


·        Community impact questions.


·        The amount of candy or other items in a jar.


Employee Raffle 

Ask employees to contribute something special for a raffle prize:


·        Homemade pies


·        Lunch with a co-worker


·        Car wash


·        Tickets to a special event


·        Weekend stay at a vacation cabin or condominium


·        One-day vacation


·        Prizes donated by vendors


EXECUTIVE CHAIR Race (or “Exec-u-Glide)

Set up a relay course for executives to go through sitting in chairs or riding tricycles. Use a stop-watch to time contestants, with the best time winning a prize. Observers wage $1.00 on their favorite contestants.  

Executive Fantasy Auction

Management at your company creates “fantasy” packages, which employees can bid on at a special auction.


·        Packages include fishing trips, dinners or movie tickets.


·        Cooking the winning bidder a special dish


·        Singing at a wedding, party or special event


·        Mowing the winner’s lawn


·        Changing the winner’s car oil


·        Baby-sitting the winner’s children


·        Washing the winner’s car


·        Washing the winner’s WINDOWS


Executive Prison

Transform an office into a jail cell.  Next, round up your prisoners (the usual suspects). “Arrest” managers and executives and allow them to make telephone calls to their STAFF MEMBERS to “bail them out.”  All bail proceeds go the community.

Halloween-Pumpkin Carving Contest

Plan a Halloween theme and hold a pumpkin carving contest. Find a local BUSINESS willing to donate pumpkins for your organization to sell to your employees. Employees buy pumpkins for their families, their staff or to use in the pumpkin carving contest. Charge $5.00 t enter and $1.00 per vote

Award prizes in various categories:


·        Best traditional pumpkin


·        Most creative pumpkin


·        Best effort by a group


·        Best effort by an individual


Throw a Halloween party to end your campaign!

Hawaiian Luau

Have a mini luau.  Serve ham, pineapple upside-down cake and other Hawaiian fare. Give prizes to employees wearing the most outrageous Hawaiian attire.

Health and Giving Events

Each department in your organization hosts a special event that will raise money for the community and better the health of employees at the same time:


·        Yoga CLASSES (10 lessons, once a week for $50.00 per person)


·        Brown Bag Lunch Workshops put on by service providers on such topics as domestic violence, CHILD CARE, mentoring.


·        Stress Reduction Classes


·        Personal Trainer Consultations ($20.00 for one hour)


·        Horoscopes ($1.00 for daily horoscope, $2.00 for BIRTH horoscope)


Charge a fee to attend the CLASS, with all proceeds going to the community.

International Food Day

Employee’s team together to create tasty treats from around the world. Employees decorate their own booths and dress in appropriate costumes. Hold the event over the lunch hour, allowing employees to purchase tickets redeemable for food at the booths.  A panel of “celebrity” judges awards prizes.

Karaoke Party

This has the potential of being a BIG fund-raiser and a GREAT team builder! Participants pay $2.00 to enter and are given a list of songs and a pledge sheet in advance.   Participants ask employees to support them by pledging an amount of money. At the event, have a big box of funny hats, boas and other costume items available for participants to use.  Pass the hat at the party to receive even MORE pledges! Note:  A variation on this activity is ”Executive Karaoke.”  Employees pay money for executives to get up and sing the song of their choice.  Videotape the event and sell copies, as well.

Laugh Olympics

Employees compete in crazy “athletic” events for silly prizes. Participants & observers donate a $5.00 fee to enter.

Lunch Auction

Different departments donate lunches to auction every day for a week. Use your organization's INTERCOM SYSTEM, or other employee communication system, to temptingly auction the lunches.  Employees call in with their bids.  A variation of this event is to have employees pay $5.00 for the “boss” to deliver coffee and muffins to them, with all proceeds going to the community.

Miniature Golf

Build a nine-hole course featuring slinkeys, ramps, water and sand around the office laid out to test the skills of your employees.  The lowest score (which may be decided by tiebreaker) will take home a tacky golfing sportcoat.  Interested twosomes return an entry form, bring a putter the day of the event, and pay an appropriate entry fee:


·        $25.00 for twosomes of upper management


·        $15.00 for twosomes of middle management


·        $10.00 for twosomes of all other staff.


Try a “Golfing in America” theme with each hole highlighting a different state/city (i.e. a hole-in-one in a Hawaiian volcano, a birdie in Boise, sand traps in Arizona).

Nacho Party  

Plan an afternoon to sell nachos or popcorn to interested employees in your break room. Employees pay $2.00 for each serving with all proceeds going to the community. 

Quilts, Quilts, Quilts!

Employees donate a quilt featuring a theme of giving to the community and being involved.  Sell RAFFLE TICKETS to interested employees. 

Rose Event

LOCAL FLORISTS donate roses or carnations that employees buy for $2.00 to send to fellow co-workers.  As an added incentive, the company matches each $2.00 donation. Try the same event with cookies, as a variation, with employees donating the cookies for the event.  Interested employees pay $1.00 to send a cookie and a note to friends or co-workers in the company just to say thanks.

Scavenger Hunts

Employees participate in a scavenger hunt that requires them to find unusual items from around the neighborhood or office building, as well as to demonstrate community knowledge.  You can “plant” items with selected employees for others to to “discover.” Teams of four, their choice, pay a group entrance fee.  If each team member has a different JOB TITLE, automatically award them 10 bonus points. Teams have one hour to accumulate as many points as possible.  The entire team must be present at the end of one hour.  If a team arrives late, assess a penalty of 2 points per minute (or fraction thereof).  Award winners something special just for their team!

Spelling Bee

Hold a spelling bee, charging a $5.00 entry bee. Galley observers place $1.00 bets on their favorite participants. Present the winner with a special “Dan Quayle Spelling Bee” Award.

Tailgate Party

Create a sports theme for your campaign to coincide with football season. Back a truck into the employee lounge, lower the tailgate, and sell football fare:


·        Hot DOGS


·        Chips


·        Soft Drinks


·        Peanuts


Play a game of tag or video football with participants donating an entrance fee and observers waging bets.

Ticket Giveaway/Gift Certificates

Give free tickets to movies, theater productions, amusement centers and other local attractions for pledge incentives.  Give movie passes to every employee who meets the challenge of pledging a certain dollar amount. In addition, enter the names of all employees who turn in a signed pledge form, during the first hour following the kick-off, into a special drawing.

Trivial Pursuit Match

Create a pool around the winning team, and give all employees who bet on the winners a prize.  Hold the challenge during a staff meeting.  Give the event a game show flavor with participants using bicycle horns if the answer is known.

Ugly Tie or Ugly Earring Contest

All contestants pay $5.00 to enter the best awful earrings or ugly ties they own (or can make or borrow!!)  Place voting boxes at various places around the office, and charge $1.00 per vote.  Employees vote as many times as they want for their favorite. Have a parade of all the contestants, offering a last chance to vote at the end of the day.  Circulate the names of the entrants the day before the event so employees can anticipate the voting.  Bring a Polaroid and charge for photos taken of employees with their favorite contestant.

Vacation Days

Many Coordinators say this event easily guarantees almost 100% participation.  Employees “buy” a vacation day. When an employee chooses to participate, their wages from a day’s work are deducted from their paycheck.  The organization may CHOOSE to match the amount deducted, with all proceeds donated to the community.  Everyone wins through the implementation of this activity. The organization achieves high participation, the employees get a vacation day, and the community is helped.

White Elephant Sale

Employees donate unique “white elephant” gifts that others can buy at affordable prices. This is especially popular at carnivals.

Penny Jars

Departments keep large jars at a central desk/office where the object of the event is to have the department raise the least amount of money through pennies. Other departments are trying to sabotage other department jars by adding coins of different values to increase their dollar amounts. Teams will attempt to add additional coins to other department jars without the deemed caretaker noticing. At the end of the fundraiser’s duration the team with the lowest amount wins a prize. All the money collected goes to the United Way.